The Deux-Caps Grand Site de France undoubtedly has all the qualities to appear on the prestigious list of Grands Sites de France. The diversity of its landscapes, its atmospheres and its natural, historical, maritime and architectural heritage invite you to explore!
The eight coastal municipalities
Seaside resorts or old fishing villages, each town has a unique charm and has its own history ... The Wimereux seawall and its seaside villas from the beginning of the 20th century, Ambleteuse and its fort Vauban which watches over the Slack estuary, Audresselles et ses petites maisons de pêcheur basses à la façade blanche et aux volets bleus, Audinghen et son église inimitable réalisé par l’architecte Alexandre Colladant, Tardinghen et sa vue imprenable sur la Baie de Wissant, Wissant and his school of 19th century painters, who were able to capture on the canvas the multiple nuances of an infinitely changing light, Escalles nestled at the foot of the imposing Cap Blanc-Nez, and to finish Sangatte, his famous aviator Louis Blériot and his immense beach of 8km of fine sand which stretches to the cliffs of Cap Blanc-Nez…
The cliffs and the notches
From the height of its 134 meters, the white cliffs of Cap Blanc-Nez dominate the Strait of Pas de Calais. Here, the wind and the sea are the masters of the place. It is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Hauts-de-France region with a 360 ° panorama: the Monts du Boulonnais, the bay of Wissant, the Cap Gris-Nez, the great Flemish plain that runs in the North towards Belgium. On a clear day, it is possible to see both England, the Mounts of Flanders and to guess far away, the border with our Belgian friends.
All sailors around the world know the gray cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez. This is the only heading in the geographical sense of the site, it is the closest point to England: only 31km separate us from our neighbor Albion.
Along its cliffs are 8 notches, suspended valleys carved by streams: the “Mademoiselle” notch, the “cran au oeufs” with its sand balls, the “Barbier” notch, the notch of “Quette”, ... You can discover them within you walking on the coastal path, just like the company of gray seals and sea calves who have taken up residence there !
The dune environment
Between Wimereux and Ambleteuse, the Slack dune massif is one of the largest in the department, extending over more than 200 hectares. It is made up of a chain of several dunes that intermingle. In the heart of these dunes, "purlins" have been carved by the wind, blowing the sand until it is flush with the water table. These small pools are home to many species of amphibians.
The dunes of the bay of Wissant are stuck on a clay cliff that they sometimes largely cover. This massif of dunes, now covered with shrubs, makes the transition to cultivated land.
Sometimes a breeding ground, sometimes a cultivated land, the mesh of agricultural plots contributes to the exceptional palette of colors, representing nearly 60% of the Grand Site de France des Deux-Caps: yellow for the rapeseed fields, from green to straw for cereals, purple for the ephemeral flowering of flax fields, green for beets, etc.
The beaches and foreshore
The immense fine sand beaches of Wimereux, Sangatte and the Bay of Wissant, whose foreshore extends into the sea by a gentle slope over several hundred meters, allow you to practice all seaside leisure activities: kitesurfing, paddle, canoeing, Nordic walking, walking, building sandcastles, lazing around, ...
Some beaches, such as Pointe aux Oies in Wimereux or Noirda in Audresselles, are known by mussel gatherers and shrimp fishermen: the foreshore discovers rocks on which these small mollusks hang or hide these crustaceans. But be careful to respect the required size before picking them!
Others, more mysterious, such as the Sirene beach in Audinghen, below Cap Gris-Nez, where strange stone circles stand out, like killer whales (orca fins) covering and uncovering themselves at will tides ...